Shown above are my favorite earrings from Infrared Studios. They’re big monsters, as you can see, and I’ve worn them tons since I nabbed them back in November of 2010. The earrings are quite visible in both photos, but it’s a trick. A trick, I tell you! If I hadn’t jammed my hair behind my ear for the photo on the left, you’d hardly have known I was wearing earrings at all.
See? In the outfit shot from that day, you can just barely see some curved metal objects peeking through the hair curtains. These earrings played a very different role in my accessorization life back when I had longer locks.
I’ve been asked to share my thoughts on balancing earrings with hairstyles, and I’m happy to do so … but as always, I’ll be sharing my own preferences and opinions, not anything that I consider to be any kind of style mandate. Every woman’s tastes and preferences will be slightly different, so take from this what suits you and leave the rest!
Learn about your face shape
Earrings interact with hair and hairstyles, sure, but they also play off of face shape. And if you’ve got a really short crop, choosing earrings that work with your own face shape will be key to creating flattering looks. I know that determining face shape can seem well nigh impossible, but this guide is extremely detailed and scientific and should help somewhat. It even delves into some suggested hairstyles.
Once you’ve determined your overall face shape, the main thing you’ll want to bear in mind is that wearing earrings that mimic the shape of your lovely visage will serve to emphasize its dominant characteristic. Women with very long or oblong faces may want to avoid long chain drops, straight bars, and anything that creates an exaggeratedly long vertical line alongside the face. Women with very round faces will make their faces look rounder when they wear circular hoop earrings. All of these visual tricks will be further emphasized if you’re wearing your hair short, so be aware.
- Flattering Hats for Every Head (includes face shape/flattery tips)
- Accessorization and Figure Flattery 101
Keep the balance
With all jewelry and accessories, I believe in striking a balance. Big everything worn everywhere doesn’t work for my style or figure, and doesn’t suit my taste. But I adore big, bold, statement-making jewelry and accessories, so I try to deploy them in a balanced way. This is most often relevant when dealing with jewelry worn around the face: Necklaces and earrings. When I had longer hair, it would obscure nearly all earrings including truly large and eye-catching ones. So I felt comfortable wearing big earrings with a relatively big necklace, like the chunky chain shown above. Even back then, though, I was unlikely to pair my most enormous pair of earrings with my biggest, boldest, most noticeable necklace, and if I was wearing my hair pulled back, I’d be even more mindful of keeping balance. With the pixie cut, it’s almost exclusively one or the other: Big earrings OR big necklace, not both.
This guideline is also helpful in non-hair-related accessorization situations. A huge, wide belt and a statement necklace may appear overwhelming since they’ll sit relatively close to one another. Depending on your tastes, a chunky cuff bracelet may also appear to compete with a wide or flashy belt. Enormous earrings, however, are unlikely to create imbalance with belts and bracelets because they’re fairly far apart. In fact, large earrings often look better when worn with at least one other large accessory. That’s balance again.
Explore unusual studs
Since I’m keen to keep my collection of big, fun necklaces in rotation, I’ve had to re-think my collection of smaller earrings. I’ve always kept a few pairs on hand – CZ and pearl studs, small hoops – but I’ve found myself seeking out unusual studs. Since my own haircut can skew a bit retro, big, round studs and clip-on reminiscent earrings make me feel a bit too costume-y. But I’ve been wearing my pyramid stud earrings quite a bit, and also love my dichroic glass studs which are small but bright and appear to glow a bit as they sit quietly on my lobes.
Studs are a great option for subdued earring looks, regardless of your hairstyle. But they become key to striking that jewelry balance when you’ve got a pixie or other ear-exposing ‘do.
Those of you with short hair, how do you think about earrings and other jewelry? Is balance key for you? Do you have loads of smaller or stud-like earrings for days when you do a big necklace? Those of you with longer hair, what factors go into your earring choices?